TAKE ME TO THE SEA: BIRTHDAY SWIMSUIT SESSION
And while the occasions themselves are quite easy for clients to ARTICULATE TO me, their true MOTIVATIONS for wanting to do a session are often harder to verbalize. BUT IT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
My friend Em was turning 46 this year. This was a very transformational year for her, after losing over 90 pounds of unexpected medical weight gain. She wanted to do something special, so she earmarked this summer as her time to unveil her new body, her newfound spirit, and to see what 46 "looks like" in photos.
PS- (I warned her my track record for helping people age backwards was pretty strong LOL).
The first part of Em's photo shoot was a classic boudoir session taken in my Red Bank boudoir studio by me. For the second half, however, she wanted to explore her adventurous, athletic side. She had defined her REASONS beyond just the occasion...
Em is an artist, an author and a mother. Very much the girl next door, she is often donned in a big white smile and sweatpants, those Nikes and her AZ Sun Devils ball cap (her alma mater).
Living in Utah with an sporty lifestyle (hiking and rock climbing), glamour is no longer part of her everyday identity any longer.
...Or is it?
The truth is, beauty and sensuality is defined differently for everyone. Having a boudoir experience does not just mean lacy lingerie or baring it all. Those are simply wardrobe CHOICES. "Accessorizing," if you will.
The Boudoir Experience that I create is about portraying yourself in the way that makes YOU feel most beautiful. That differs for everyone...
"When do you feel MOST beautiful, Em?" I asked her.
"I grew up at the ocean, I will be myself there the most. Whenever I am back at the water I see it, smell it, taste it. I become truly carefree and at ease," she told me, "Take me to the Sea, woman!"
"I think we will see the real you there, then," I said.
Coincidentally at this time, our friend Beth was celebrating her birthday and we had decided to drive north for Em to visit her in coastal Connecticut. Beth and I had shot on location at the CT beach before, so we knew that my landlocked friend Em would love this boudoir weekend getaway especially.
Now... it's important to note that the timing of this birthday shoot was NEVER going to be IDEAL for Em. It's actually not an ideal time for anyone. Yes it is true... And thoughts like these will typically swarm the heads of every client over 35:
Should I have done this when I was younger?
Am I too old for this now?
Should I lose those final 20 pounds first?
Do I need Botox or a little "help" before I do this?
Do I have the guts to do this?
Does my (husband/partner/lover) even care for these pictures?
Should I wait until _____? (Fill in your own blank)
IT'S TRUE, NOTHING WILL EVER "FEEL" IDEAL.
BUT THE REASONS for the experience are ALWAYS right on time. As Em told me:
"Being an outwardly rock climbing, basketball lovin' SPORTY GIRL most of my life, I don't think others have ever really viewed me in this way.
But, I felt that a trip to the Ocean makes me feel beautiful, at ease and athletic. I imagined myself feeling so free there, and I did!
There was no sense in waiting any more, I just had to breathe and DO IT. Even though I was scared, you truly helped me see that I CAN DO THIS.
I AM STILL THAT WOMAN INSIDE AND SHE IS SET FREE IN THOSE PICTURES.
And I can honestly say that 46 feels pretty great from the inside, out."
Em has many great features, which I felt like I brought out her body in her last shoot. but the focus for this shoot was to be her well-kept skin and lips, and I brought that out through specific emotive posing direction. (The skin and lips? that's her own blend of Asian-Irish DNA and an organic facial regimen all her own.)
For this sporty look, we went with an effortless, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue-inspired look; A salty-sea aesthetic featuring minimal makeup, wet hair and a surf-style suit by Abroda.
The moral of the story here is, an occasion is a good trigger to book, but find your REASON, and you will be deeply satisfied with the woman you see in those photos.
PS: BOUDOIR WEEKEND GETAWAYS like this are available for booking. They are so much fun for groups of 3 or less and I handle all the details. It is a perfect type of shoot, especially for prior boudoir clients who may wish to try a different style, or for clients who may be uncomfortable with lingerie wardrobing.
If you are interested in a destination photo shoot experience, contact Cate here or call 732.676.3700.